Why Are Fatal Motorcycle Accidents So Common in the United States?
Motorcycles offer riders a great deal of freedom, and they are a great way for many people to enjoy traveling throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the country. However, due to the limited protection that motorcycles provide for drivers and passengers, the injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are often incredibly severe or even fatal. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported that motorcyclists are approximately 28 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in collisions than drivers or passengers of cars or trucks.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and it provides a great opportunity to remind drivers of the importance of driving safely around motorcycles. This is crucial, because more than half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve multiple vehicles, and more than 85% of motorcyclists who are killed in two-vehicle collisions are involved in a crash with a passenger vehicle.
Driver Negligence Leading to Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists can take steps to protect their own safety by wearing a helmet, avoiding drunk driving, and following the rules of the road. However, even the safest cyclist may be severely injured or killed because of the negligence of other drivers. Motorcycles have the same rights to use the road as other vehicles, and drivers should take care to notice motorcycles around them. Unfortunately, drivers often fail to do so, and the following forms of negligence can lead to fatal motorcycle crashes:
- Failure to check blind spots - Nearly 40% of the area around a car consists of blind spots for drivers, and due to the small size of motorcycles, drivers may not notice these vehicles around them. It is important for drivers to adjust their mirrors correctly to increase visibility around their vehicles. Drivers should always be sure to check their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or making turns, and failure to do so is often the cause of motorcycle accidents.
- Improper navigation of intersections - Motorcycle collisions occur most often at intersections. In many cases, drivers violate motorcyclists’ right of way, such as by turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle. This can occur because a driver fails to judge the distance or speed of a motorcycle, or they may not see a motorcycle due to obstructions.
- Unawareness of motorcyclist signals - Drivers may not be aware of common motorcyclist behaviors, and this often leads to accidents. For example, motorcycles may slow down quickly without the use of brakes, which can lead to a rear-end collision.
- Distracted driving - Anything that causes a driver to take their attention off the road, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, eating or drinking, or talking to passengers, is likely to cause a driver to be unaware of motorcycles around their vehicle, which can lead to dangerous collisions.
Contact a Green Bay Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
Motorcycle accident injuries can be very severe, even in relatively minor collisions. Broken bones and traumatic brain injuries are common, and motorcyclists face an increased risk of being killed in a crash. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle collision, it is important to seek out legal assistance. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our attorneys are dedicated to helping those injured by others’ negligence recover the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Appleton motorcycle accident attorney, call our office today at 920-739-7366.